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  • Updated 06.25.2023
  • Released 12.10.1996
  • Expires For CME 06.25.2026

Chemotherapy: neurologic complications



Patients with cancer are living longer due to earlier diagnoses and steady improvement in treatments. Unfortunately, neurologic complications from chemotherapy remain a significant cause of morbidity and reduced quality of life, especially in long-term survivors. In addition, novel therapies such as small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors, immunotherapy, CAR T-cell therapy, and various monoclonal antibodies have been associated with various patterns or neurologic complications. Because treatments for therapy-induced neurotoxicity are limited, awareness of common neurologic complications and early recognition are important to prevent permanent damage. The authors review common neurologic complications of both conventional chemotherapy and novel anticancer therapies in this article.

Key points

• Neurologic complications from systemic anticancer therapies impact quality of life and remain an important factor in dose-limiting toxicity.

• Although neurotoxicities of conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy are widely known, novel targeted agents and immunotherapies are also associated with unique patterns of neurologic complications.

• Early recognition and prevention may help avoid permanent neurologic damage.

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ISSN: 2831-9125